Overview

Stage 4 prostate cancer is cancer that begins in the prostate and spreads to nearby lymph nodes or to other areas of the body.

Stage 4 prostate cancer is an uncommon diagnosis. Most often, prostate cancer is diagnosed at an earlier stage, when the cancer is confined to the prostate.

Treatments may slow or shrink an advanced prostate cancer, but for most men, stage 4 prostate cancer isn't curable. Still, treatments can extend your life and reduce the signs and symptoms of cancer.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of stage 4 prostate cancer may include:

  • Painful urination
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Bone pain
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Fatigue

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.

Causes

Doctors aren't certain what causes stage 4 prostate cancer.

Stage 4 prostate cancer occurs when prostate cancer cells break away from the prostate and spread to the lymph nodes or to other areas of the body.

Prostate cancer cells that spread beyond the prostate most often travel to the:

  • Lymph nodes
  • Bones
  • Liver

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of stage 4 prostate cancer include:

  • A family history of prostate cancer. Men with certain inherited gene mutations that increase the risk of prostate cancer have an increased risk of more-aggressive prostate cancers.
  • African-American race. Black men have an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Stage 4 prostate cancer care at Mayo Clinic

Feb. 14, 2019
References
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